Late pin makes difference for hosts at 50th Winside Invite
WINSIDE — Winside and Clearwater/Orchard were almost identical in team points and wins by pin, so it seemed only appropriate that the two schools’ only head-to-head matchup in the finals Saturday of the 50th annual Winside Invitational would decide the championship.
The match between two potential state qualifiers in the Cyclones’ Clay Thiele and the Wildcats’ Michael Jensen in the 195-pound final had plenty of fireworks from the start.
Thiele quickly put Jensen to his back, but the Winside senior was able to roll through and return the favor. He later ended the match with a 42-second pin that gave Winside a 162-161 win over Clearwater/Orchard to claim the team title here in Northeast Nebraska’s oldest annual wrestling tournament.
Both teams had 31 pins going into the Thiele-Jensen matchup, but those two extra bonus points that come with a pin proved to be the difference on a day when the two teams dominated the 12-team field, combining for nine of the 14 individual champions.
“Evidently we like winning by the skin of our teeth,” Winside coach Jesse Thies said in reference to also claiming runner-up honors at Wayne a month ago by one-half of a point. “I’d rather win by a lot more points, but a win’s a win.”
The Wildcats dominated the lighter weights, winning titles from 106 to 138, all coming via pin.
Thies said that any one of the Wildcats’ first six winners — Jacoby Mann (106), Cayden Ellis (113), Koby Ellis (120), Gabe Escalante (126), Tyler Carlson (132) and Art Escalante (138) — could have decided the team outcome with something less than a fall, but Jensen’s win over Thiele was a head-to-head battle between the top two teams and ultimately decided the final team race.
“Cayden had a major decision going with the Battle Creek kid and then got a pin, and Gabe actually got his last pin after Michael did, so you can look at it any number of ways,” he said. “But Mike’s win was big. If he loses that match, it would have been enough for them to win, so I was glad he was able to fight through that.”
In the first competition after the holiday break for most of the teams, the Wildcats and Cyclones both came out on fire, combining for 63 pins on the day to separate themselves from the rest of the field.
Jensen, Tyler Carlson, and the Escalante brothers each had five pins in five matches, while Mann and second-ranked Koby Ellis recorded four apiece for Winside.
“We had a bunch of pins and our freshmen really came through big time,” Thies said. “It really helps when you get those pins and get the two extra points that come with it. That was really huge in a tournament like this.”
Clearwater/Orchard got four pins apiece from Thiele, Donovan Nolze (220) and Houston Marino (152). Cyclones coach Dan Roeber joked about another point he said his team should have probably been given credit for.
“Jesse and I joked at the beginning of the day when I was helping him set up TrackWrestling, and I told him if it comes down to one point, he’s got to give me that (for helping him). So maybe I should check with him and see if he’s still going to honor that,” he said with a laugh.
Roeber said Thiele got himself in position to win the key match at 195 pounds, but Winside’s wrestler was able to counter and finish the job.
“We had the match we needed with the two big bulls going at it,” he said. “Clay got his hips high and (Jensen) was strong enough to roll through and caught us on our back and we weren’t able to roll out of it.”
Roeber said his team would have had a chance to score more points with 182-pound champion Cody Snider, but he was only able to wrestle two matches on the day as he beat Eric Hoesing of Hartington Cedar Catholic — the only other wrestler in the bracket — via decisions of 4-2 and 3-2.
“Cody had a great day today, but the only thing was there were just two wrestlers in his bracket, so when you look at it from a team points perspective, that kind of hurt,” he said. “Tommie (Peed) did a great job for us at heavyweight, and Donovan (Nolze) had a great battle with the St. Mary’s kid at 220. Hopefully, we’ll see those two match up again at conference.”
Randolph finished fifth in the team race but was the only other school with multiple champions. Sixth-ranked Alex Schmit (145) and fourth-ranked Noah Scott (170) both won by pin, while third-rated Brandon Bloomquist took top honors at 145 pounds.
Cole Rosenkrans of O’Neill St. Mary’s claimed the 220-pound championship, winning an 8-2 decision over Nolze of Clearwater/Orchard.
Winside 162, Clearwater/Orchard 161, Battle Creek JV 99, Hartington CC 80.5, Randolph 77.5, Guardian Angels CC 74, Millard North JV 51, Viborg Hurley (SD) 38, Osmond 34, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge 29, St. Mary’s 24, Niobrara/Verdigre 12.
106: Jacoby Mann, Winside, pinned Carson Jones, HCC, :24. 113: Cayden Ellis, Winside, pinned Boston Reeves, BCJV, 4:42. 120: Koby Ellis, Winside, pinned Maddox Magwire, Winside, :59. 126: Gabe Escalante, Winside, pinned Kerby Hochstein, HCC, 1:17. 132: Tyler Carlson, Winside, pinned Patrick Bengston, MNJV, 1:49. 138: Art Escalante, Winside, pinned Ethan Baumert, GACC, 1:26. 145: Alex Schmit, Randolph, pinned Turner Korth, HCC, 3:31.
152: Brandon Bloomquist, Randolph, maj. dec. Morgan Koch, HCC, 14-2. 160: Traven Croghan, BCJV, pinned Tyler Bellar, C/O, 4:00. 170: Noah Scott, Randolph, pinned Cash Meier, GACC, 3:55. 182: Cody Snider, C/O, dec. Eric Hoesing, HCC, 4-2/3-2. 195: Michael Jensen, Winside, pinned Clay Thiele, C/O, :42. 220: Cole Rosenkrans, St. Mary’s, dec. Donovan Nolze, C/O, 8-2. 285: Tommie Peed, C/O, dec. Ethan Engen, V-H, 4-0.
106: Hunter Kreikemeier, BCJV, pinned Tristan Korth, BCJV, 3:09. 113: Braeden Harris, MNJV, pinned Spencer Kester, C/O, 4:45. 120: Rafe Grebin, C/O, def. Zach Frankus, V-H, forfeit. 126: Kerby Hochstein, HCC, tec. fall Mason Bykerk, Osmond, 15-0. 132: Ethan Miller, BCJV, pinned James Kester, C/O, :37. 138: Kaden Warneke, BCJV, pinned Ty Rix, C/O, :37. 145: Damon Crawford, GACC, pinned Nolan Ohlrich, LCC, 1:00.
152: Houston Marino, C/O, pinned Trey Such, N/V, 1:45. 160: Colby Wathor, Randolph, pinned Levi Buseman, V-H, :38. 170: Austin Pokorny, C/O, pinned Kase Thompson, BCJV, 2:50. 182: No match.195: Alexis Solorzano, Osmond, pinned Christopher Shiney, MNJV, :39. 220: Ethan Williams, LCC, pinned Jack Baumert, GACC, 1:36. 285: Mitchell Peatrowsky, GACC, pinned Logan Mueller, C/O, 1:26.